Furthering the Argument for New Icebreaking Capacity

It was brought to my attention this morning that three Coast Guardsmen will be recognized today for their “quick-thinking and ingenuity that helped save the mission of the nation’s only heavy icebreaker during a recent deployment to Antarctica”.

These were no small feats that were accomplished: at sea, in 6-8 foot thick ice, these crew members fixed the main support beam for the shaft, which is the component of the cutter that spins the propeller to move the cutter through the water and break ice.

In my humble opinion, this is unacceptable.

This article goes on to explain that there were actually 4 general emergencies during their most recent deployment to Antarctica, including three fires and an oil lube leak in addition to a failed generator.

The US is currently “one icebreaker deep” which means that at any given time, only one icebreaker is operational while the other is in dry dock. It appears that “operational” may require a new definition after this season.

We can and should do better.

Full article here: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2855670/

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